THE $20 MILLION FACILITY WAS APPROVED BY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS LAST YEAR AND WILL BE PAID FOR OVER 20 YEARS WITH A FULL PENNY EACH YEAR OF THE FIVE CENT PROPERTY TAX INCREASE ALSO APPROVED BY COMMISSIONERS LAST YEAR
As work begins this week to scale back the cost of a planned $20-million law enforcement training center planned for Blue Ridge Community College, Sheriff Charles McDonald says any significant changes could also decrease training opportunities.
A meeting is scheduled for early this week with “architect of record” Clark Nexsen to look at ways to reduce the cost. County Engineer Marcus Jones said that as the project progresses, staff will be able to narrow the budget and eliminate some of the unknowns, which many times can lower the price tag.
The proposed $20 million facility is to be paid for over a 20 year period with a full penny each year of the five-cent property tax increase imposed by county commissioners last year.
Meanwhile, Sheriff McDonald will be explaining the need for the new facility in a public meeting Monday March 27th at 6 pm in the Kaplan Auditorium of the county’s main public library. That presentation will include a “question and answer” period.
Citizens have raised concerns about the cost and the scope of the proposed new facility. Some see it as a duplication of the state’s western criminal justice training center in Edneyville. And according to media reports, recent attempts to “market” the new facility to other law enforcement agencies in the area have been met with only “lukewarm” response.
After hearing citizen's concerns, county commissioners put the proposed facility "on hold" and instructed that ways be found to cut the cost.